Try These 7 More Go To Activities for Conversation Class
Take a Survey
Short surveys give your students a chance to practice their English skills with different types of speakers. Have students write their own surveys with between five and ten questions and then approach other students at school or people walking on the street close to your location.
Have your students take a cliché conversation from one of their text books (e.g. Hello, how are you? Fine, thank you, and you?) and rewrite it using more creative and original language. Looking for new ways to say familiar sentiments will challenge your students use of vocabulary and dialogue structure. Then, have each pair perform their dialogue in front of the class.
A Pleasant Controversy
Controversial topics make great conversation starters among ESL students. Give students a topic on which they are likely to have strong feelings and listen to the quality of their English as they talk. The more emotional a person is when he talks, the more authentic level of language fluency will emerge. Listen for accents, grammar issues and other mistakes students might mask at other times.
The Next Controversial Step
Take your controversy conversation to the next level by holding a classroom debate. Divide your class into three teams, the pro side of the debate, the con side of the debate, and the judges who will determine the winning team. Each group should plan either their case or how they will judge the presenters. They then give their arguments or judgments at the appropriate times.
Would You Rather?
Asking students a simple question is often enough to get them sharing thoughts and opinions. Ask students a question starting with ‘Would you rather’. For example, ‘Would you rather have a cat or a dog? Would you rather live a long life alone or a short life with loved ones? Would you rather have just peanut butter or just jelly?’ Then, pair each student with someone of the opposite opinion and see what conversation emerges.
A Piece of the Past
Students will have plenty to talk about when they are sharing stories from their past. Ask students to share with a partner experiences that elicited a specific emotion: something that made you angry, sad, scared, or happy, for example.
Ice Breaker Blocks
Write a unique ice breaker on each block of a tumbling block game (such as Jenga). While playing the game, students must answer the question on each block they pull before placing it at the top of the stack and moving to the next player.